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Tantrums!

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 7:58 PM
  • 5 Replies

Help! DD will be 4 in June. We've been dealing with temper tantrums since before she turned 2 and she's a "spirited" one, so we've had our fair share. But lately they've taken a new turn for the worse. I don't know what's going on and nothing is helping. They have become much more intense and frequent, and they'll also sometimes happen without an obvious trigger.

The instant ones are what concerns me the most. An example: A few mornings ago we were sitting on the couch together watching her morning show (she gets a half hour show in the morning while we eat breakfast). Halfway through, she turns sideways, and starts kicking me in the arm. At first I thought she was playing somehow because, well, what else would it be out of the blue like that? So I turn to her as I'm asking her not to do that and her face is all bunched up and red and she starts screeching and kicking harder! I was like WTH?!?!? I was so caught off guard I didn't even know how to react at first. I took her legs and swung them down off the couch away from me, but she was screaming too much to even attempt to say something to her. So then she balls up her fist and punches me! All of this completely out of the blue. Nothing was any different than any other morning. That kind of freak-out has happened several times. Where there's no apparent trigger and it is instant hysteria. I can't even accurately describe the intensity of it.

Other times there are triggers, but she still loses it so incredibly fast. And she'll lose it before she even knows what's going on. Like she just assumes it's not going to go her way and launches in to the fit, when really nothing "bad" was about to happen. Or when it's something normal. Like the other day she stepped away from the cart when we got to the car and I held out my hand for her and she lost it. We have *always* had a hand-holding rule in the parking lot. It's nothing new.

I just don't know how to handle them anymore. Nothing is working. And it's getting too hard for me to physically carry her to her room, or into the safety of the car, or up off the floor of target....when she's fighting against it the whole time (I'm 30 weeks pg)

I wish I could video record what's going on, because I don't think I'm giving a full and accurate description. These really seem more intense and crazy than what should be normal.

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 7:58 PM
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Replies (1-5):
MixedCooke
by Silver Member on Apr. 26, 2012 at 2:08 AM

have you spoken with her pediatrician?  Tell her unless she uses her words that you cannot understand what she would like and/or ask nicely.  It may be taking a turn for the worse because the new baby is coming.  i would clearly explain to her that just because a new baby is coming does not mean you love her any less but the baby will need you more.  I HIGHLY recommend you getting her a gift from the baby so she welcomes it more willingly and also let her know she will be a big sister and will get to teach them, etc.  I really think the issue is the new baby coming.

My first NEVER had tantrums until after her baby sister was born when she was 2.5 years old.  She is nearly 4.5 yrs old and she still has her moments of sibling rivalry and reverting back to her baby stage for attention.

Mommy2Phenley
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM

We haven't gone to the pedi about it, though I've considered it to rule out iron and check her blood sugar. She is very excited for the baby. She asks almost every day if it's time for baby sister to come out yet. We've not been investing any time or attention on baby, really. No setting up a nursery or even a crib. We haven't dragged out all her old baby gear. All we've done is buy a car seat and she got a new one at the same time.  She's been practicing her sign language a lot more so she can teach sister and talks a lot about all the other things she'll teach her. So seriously, she is excited and looking forward to baby. And we do plan on getting her a gift for when baby arrives. I'm not saying it's not a factor, because it still may be, but it seems to be more than that.

We've been using the "use your words" line a LOT lately. When she has these huge tantrums, though, it's pointless to say anything at all. She won't hear you. She is screaming too much. Maybe I should switch to ASL, but I don't think she'll look at me long enough, either.

We're starting to think sugar levels could have something to do with it.

Quoting MixedCooke:

have you spoken with her pediatrician?  Tell her unless she uses her words that you cannot understand what she would like and/or ask nicely.  It may be taking a turn for the worse because the new baby is coming.  i would clearly explain to her that just because a new baby is coming does not mean you love her any less but the baby will need you more.  I HIGHLY recommend you getting her a gift from the baby so she welcomes it more willingly and also let her know she will be a big sister and will get to teach them, etc.  I really think the issue is the new baby coming.

My first NEVER had tantrums until after her baby sister was born when she was 2.5 years old.  She is nearly 4.5 yrs old and she still has her moments of sibling rivalry and reverting back to her baby stage for attention.


bunnywzrd
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM

My daughter is allergic to red food dye. She could be fine one minute and completely freaking out the next. You couldn't talk to her or hold her or anything. I tried spanking a few times but she wouldn't feel it. She would scream for up to an hour or more. It got to the point where she would loose control and try to hurt herself. One time after we finally got her calmed down she looked at me and asked me why she was so angry. She couldn't even remember what she had got upset about. We took red food dye out of her diet and she is a different child now. She is a lot calmer. She can focus a lot better. Life is a lot easier for her to handle.

Mommy2Phenley
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:13 PM
1 mom liked this

Dye affects DD's behavior, too. She's already dye-free and HFCS-free. She doesn't get caffeine, either, other than the small amount she'd get in a small piece of chocolate. She doesn't get candy very often, though. I think I'm going to try to track her eating and behavior for a week or so and see if there is a trigger food we haven't caught yet.

Quoting bunnywzrd:

My daughter is allergic to red food dye. She could be fine one minute and completely freaking out the next. You couldn't talk to her or hold her or anything. I tried spanking a few times but she wouldn't feel it. She would scream for up to an hour or more. It got to the point where she would loose control and try to hurt herself. One time after we finally got her calmed down she looked at me and asked me why she was so angry. She couldn't even remember what she had got upset about. We took red food dye out of her diet and she is a different child now. She is a lot calmer. She can focus a lot better. Life is a lot easier for her to handle.


PEEK05
by on Apr. 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM

I hope you can figure something out.

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